Showing posts from January, 2020

Sunday Homily - January 26, 2020 - "Come, follow me!"

Jesus Calls the Fishermen Icon I. His name was "Pappa."  His actual name was Harold Brown, more specifically,   but to the ones he cared for,    he was simply known as "Pappa Brown." In the 1960s,  Pappa Brown was a pastor in the town of Covington, Louisiana,   and one day,    Pappa Brown was called by Jesus     to do something foolish. He heard the voice of Jesus calling him  to start a children's orphanage. Except, there was one tiny little logistical problem:  he had no building,   no money,    and no space in his family's home     to do anything that even looks like orphanage work. But Harold Brown did have one thing:  an unshakable faith in God to provide. So Harold started praying.  Praying every day,   almost hourly,    and asked Jesus to provide, if this is what he needed to be doing. And then Harold did something extraordinary. He took what little extra money that he had,  and bought some baling wire, wooden s

Bishop's Visit - January 19th 2020 - The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield's Sermon

                        Larry R. Benfield                         Epiphany 2 – Year A                         19 January 2020                        Have you noticed how hard it is these days to serve anyone a meal that everyone can enjoy? There are now so many diets that form our food choices. Christian Wiman, a poet and person of deep faith, has a poem in this month’s Poetry Magazine whose first line is “All my friends are finding new beliefs,” and four lines later names some of them: Paleo, Keto, Zone, South Beach, Bourbon. Only the last one sounds the least bit enticing. Part of what he says in the poem is that life can be so complicated, as in all these partiular new “knowledges” or explantions of how things work that we think will save us, but ultilmately don’t.  In a similar vein, the one-time New York restaurant critic William Grimes wrote that long ago, before anyone had heard of potato foam, or, I might add, vegan sushi, waiters performed a very basic function.

Sunday Homily - January 12th, 2020 - Jesus is baptized. But...Why?

The Baptism of Christ I. "I need to be baptized by you,  and yet you are coming to me?" That's what John the Baptist says to Our Lord Jesus this morning,  but I imagine that might also be what some of us this morning   might be asking ourselves: "Why does Jesus come to be baptized by John this morning?" And there are good reasons for thinking about this as well. After all, it says explicitly in the Holy Scriptures  that John the Baptist came proclaiming repentance   and that he was baptizing people who came to repent of their sins. But the Holy Scriptures also say that Jesus Christ, the Son of God,  was without sin,   the perfect spotless Lamb of God    who takes away the sin of the world     by taking it upon himself for us. How do we reconcile Jesus's sinlessness  with his desire to be baptized by John? II. Well, to get at this complicated question,  let's consider a few things at the outset.  First of all, wh

Sunday (short) Homily - January 5, 2020 - Who is King?

I. It's the twelfth day of Christmas, y'all!  So, that means that I will,   in full honesty,    still wish you a very merry Christmas. Christmastide, as it is sometimes called,  brings with it many great traditions handed down through the years. Like the tradition of lights on our Christmas trees,  which was a tradition that was potentially started   by the Reformer Martin Luther himself [] But, in local Christmas observance,  my family growing up,   and likewise my family now,    has a tradition of watching a very particular Christmas movie     in celebration of the season. That movie is the Muppet Christmas Carol.  And it is,   in my uninformed opinion,    the best movie adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol ever made. And, for as many great things there are about this movie,  there is a particularly important part of Ebenezer Scrooge'